013: ExcusesFor most of us, we know we should share the gospel of Jesus; we want to! But there are some common excuses that often keep us silent.
1. "What if I am rejected?" Sometimes we think a lot about others' opinions of us when we should be most concerned about God's opinion. Galatians 1:10 - "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." And when our evangelistic efforts are met with opposition, it is not us they have rejected but Jesus. We share in Jesus' sufferings which is cause for rejoicing (Matthew 5:11-12). The worst someone could do to us is kill our body, sending us to be with God forever.
2. "I don't know how." All of us know how to lead others to Christ because someone led us to Christ. Even people who have been Christians for only one day can make disciples by simply telling others what Jesus has done for them and inviting others to follow Jesus with them. Additionally, there are many resources we can use to share the gospel, such as First Steps. The best way to learn how is to try.
3. "What if sharing the gospel ruins the relationship?" Though our fears do not often become reality, Jesus does create division among friends and family. Keeping eternity in perspective is important. Eternity with God in heaven or eternity separated from God in hell is what's at stake. The most loving thing we can do is tell them about the salvation available in Jesus. A good friend or a good family member tells his or her friends and family about Jesus.
4. "I am lazy." Sadly, apathy and laziness keeps many of us from sharing the gospel. What if God gave you ¥100,000 each time you shared the gospel? Speaking honestly, many of us would quit our jobs and share the gospel full-time. We need to repent that we would share Christ for money and not because of the incredible love he has for us and the world.
5. "I'm waiting for someone to ask me about my faith." Sometimes we think that if we live good lives we can show God's love to others through out actions without needed to verbalize the gospel message. There are a few problems with this idea. First, Christians are not the only kind, considerate, and generous people in the world. Second, very rarely will someone else ask you about your faith without you initiating the conversation. Third, the Bible says in Romans 10:14 "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" We need to speak up.
6. "I cannot answer their questions." Inevitably, when engaging others with the gospel message we will be asked questions we do not know the answer to. That is ok. Simply say, "That's a great question. I don't know the answer right now but I will find out and let you know." Rather than hinder our efforts, following up with someone actually demonstrates how much we care to help them wrestle with the truth.
There may be other excuses that come to our minds, but we must remember that love for God and love for others is more than enough of a reason to take the risk and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible.
(Adapted from the book One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven by Mark Cahill)